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Yale pioneer development and testing of portable MRI device

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Posted October 16, 2019

Yale researchers have agreed to develop, deploy, and test a new portable MRI scanner, a device its developer hopes will cost a fraction of that of traditional MRIs and make the new imaging technology available in clinics in the U.S. and around the world.

The device, called Portable Point-of-Care MRI System, was developed by Hyperfine Research Inc., a part of the Guilford, CT-based medical technology incubator 4Catalyzer. Currently, because of their high magnetic fields, scanners can only be used in secure areas. This new approach may bring the portable MRI to the patient, enabling increased access to a powerful technology.

Computer tomography of human brain, from base of the skull to top. Image credit: Department of Radiology, Uppsala University Hospital via Wikimedia, CC0 Public Domain

Under the collaboration agreement between Hyperfine and the Yale School of Medicine, a group of Yale doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital headed by Dr. Kevin Sheth,  professor of neurology and neurosurgery, will use the device to scan patients with a variety of brain pathologies such as stroke, brain swelling, and tumors. They will then compare that data with images of the same patients taken with traditional MRI and CT scans and will collaborate to develop tools that aid in the interpretation of images.

This is a tremendously exciting opportunity to aid efforts to develop an affordable way to bring medical care to those who do not have access to stationary MRIs and CT scans,’’ Sheth said.

The research is being supported by a grant from the American Heart Association, and preliminary findings of the research are expected to be announced in early 2020.

The real-world feedback from Yale doctors and patients is exactly what Hyperfine needs to maximize the potential of our portable MRI scanner’s impact on the world,” said Jonathan M. Rothberg, founder, and chair of Hyperfine Research.

Source: Yale University

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